[Special Report] An Uncompetitive Truth?






An Uncompetitive Truth?
Is Europeia on Track for Another Uncompetative Election?

Written by Lime




Europeia experienced something it’s not experienced for a while: a competitive election! In the recently concluded by-election, former Speaker Lloenflys narrowly defeated former Speaker SkyGreen 23 votes to 19. In what could be considered a classic clash of the titans election, two former Speakers each with their own strong group of supporters, went up against each other in what originally looked to be yet another uncompetitive election. Europeians were treated to a close election that could have gone either way, after Lloenflys decided to challenge SkyGreen after initially celebrating SkyGreen’s decision to stand, stating in the Grand Hall Discord channel “Oh good, I don't have to be an emergency candidate, thank you Sky lol” This statement by Lloenflys highlights not only how lucky Europeians were to even have a competitive election, but indeed how lucky they were to even have a candidate, or at the very least one who didn’t stand at the last minute just to ensure that there was an election. Unfortunately, we have experienced a recent trend of uncompetitive or even uncontested elections, and we must hope that this past by-election and President Writtinglegend’s pledge not to stand for another term is a sign that this trend is coming to a close.

In the last Presidential election, we experienced a non-contested election with President Writtinglegend and Vice President Sarah riding to re-election unopposed. For those who have been around the region for several years now, it brought back memories of 2018. A fairly dark time in Europeia’s history where the region appeared to be on a constant downward slope and uncontested elections felt like the norm rather than the exception. It should be noted that President Writinglegend and the executive branch as a whole received universal approval in the midterm approval poll, undoubtably a statistical outliner and perhaps even an unprecedented feat. It seems likely that such high approval rating contributed to the uncontested election, a notable difference compared with 2018. In the last General Election, many citizens bemoaned what they perceived as a lack of high-quality candidates and therefore a poorly contested election. Despite the previous Senate having been strongly criticised as inactive, the region chose to elect a Senate composed entirely of incumbent's bar one, with this seeming to suggest that citizens felt they had little choice in candidates. The June Presidential election, while contested, is likely not best described as competitive. While President Writtinglegend and Vice President Sarah were in theory up against a formidable ticket on paper composed of Monkey and Calvin Coolidge, in reality the ticket didn’t stand up to scratch. Monkey had not been particularly active in the region immediately before the election and had not held a Ministry role for quite some time, bar a brief and poorly received role as Director of the Government Accountability Office. Calvin also had not served as Minister during the term leading up to the election. Their ticket appeared to exist to ensure that the incumbents faced an opponent in the election, rather than a serious and fully functioning bid to win the Presidency. In the end, Writtinglend and Sarah crushed their opponents with over 80% of the vote.

The May General Election could in some ways be described as competitive. Europeians had the choice of nine candidates and elected seven to serve in the Senate, including some fresh faces. However, it could equally be described as another uncompetitive election. Just two candidates weren’t elected to the Senate, and the gap between the last elected Senator and the closest of the two defeated candidates was 12.8%, a fairly substantial gap highlighting that it wasn’t particularly difficult for the last elected Senator to win their seat. Is an election of nine candidates where just two lose and by a substantial gap truly a competitive election? I would argue not. Indeed, the last truly competitive scheduled election we’ve had was the April Presidential election. While Writtinglegend and Sincluda were comfortably elected 57.5% to 42.5%, this margin is close enough that the winners had to actually fight for their victory and it is not inconceivable to imagine that had things turned out slightly differently the margin could have been even closer or the defeated candidates, Kuramia and Darkslayer might have actually won. Our next scheduled election will take place in October, meaning that Europeians may have had to wait six months until they experience a competitive election once again. Six months without a competitive election for either a General or Presidential election is a long time to wait, half a year in fact, and it is not good for our democracy or our future as a region if half of our year is composed of uncompetitive elections.

Of course, it is not entirely fair to suggest that we have had zero competitive elections over those six months, because we have actually had some truly hyper competitive elections. In April just after the Presidential election, we saw a closely contested by-election between Hezekon and McEntire, with Hezekon winning by 12.8%. In June we had a very exciting and competitive by-election between five candidates, and three candidates had legitimate paths to victory. In the end a runoff was held between Peeps and Gaudosia who narrowly defeated Izzy in the first ballot to appear on the runoff. In that runoff Peeps won by a tight margin of just 5.4%, one of the closest elections we’d seen in a while. And of course, we recently witnessed the narrow victory of Lloenflys over SkyGreen in the recent by-election. The one factor which links all these competitive elections together is that they were all by-elections where candidates were running for a truncated term. In our scheduled elections where candidates would be running for a full term, we’ve experienced uncompetitive elections. It is possible to logically argue that we may be experiencing uncompetitive elections because people are unwilling to run for a full term, however a shorter term may be more appealing to potential candidates. In the last two EBC Senate polls (July Poll, June Poll) when asked why they are not standing for Senate themselves, the most popular response amongst respondents is that they are not active enough to stand. The Executive branch has also experienced a decline in the number of active staffers to work in its Ministries during the Summer, and these two data points may suggest that the region’s citizens do not feel as able to contribute as perhaps they have been previously.

Traditionally, as the Northern Hemisphere leaves Summer and moves into the Autumn and Winter we see an increase in activity. If our uncompetitive elections have been caused by a decline in the number of active citizens, then the first test for this theory should come in the October General Election. If we, however, continue to see uncompetitive elections as we move into Autumn and then the Winter then there may be deeper, more structural issues affecting the region that are contributing or indeed causing our competitive elections. We must therefore hope that our recent clash of the titans is a sign that our region is waking up and we’re on course for an exciting and highly competitive General Election.

 

Monkey

we want YOU to be a dee gee too
Deputy Minister
Citizen
Their ticket appeared to exist to ensure that the incumbents faced an opponent in the election, rather than a serious and fully functioning bid to win the Presidency.
 

SkyGreen

♅Emperor of Europeia⛢
Deputy Minister
Citizen
Luv being called a titan.
Like I can't speak for others on this topic, but if I myself wasn't in a transitional period of my life atm I'd probably also consider running for President. Sometimes timing is just unfortunate.
 

Calvin Coolidge

Spellcaster
Forum Administrator
Associate Justice
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Good article, this is certainly becoming an issue in Europeia, and hopefully an article like this can prevent it from happening again! However:
Their ticket appeared to exist to ensure that the incumbents faced an opponent in the election, rather than a serious and fully functioning bid to win the Presidency.
As Monkey implies, this is not correct. We ran because we wanted to win, and we thought we were best for the positions. We were planning this run before we even knew Writinglegend was going to run. You can say we had no shot if you want, but this was not a run just for competition's sake.
 

Darcness

Robot Overlord
Forum Administrator
Deputy Minister
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Best Tech Admin
Writinglegend as a President is both a blessing and a curse. He's absolutely great at it, but with him in the seat people stifle their ambition to take over. (To be clear, not trying to lay any sort of blame here, just making an observation.)
 
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